grateful

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The Cards You Were Dealt

cards you were dealt

Key Verse

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Additional Verses

Ephesians 5:20; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 3:17

Materials Needed

  • Deck of cards

Object Lesson

Have you ever played a card came before? Maybe Old Maid, or Uno, or Go Fish? The way that many card games work is that they start out by dealing you a certain number of cards. (Deal out several cards for yourself.) They you have to look at your cards and play the game. Sometimes you get a really good hand of cards and you can play really well. Other times, your cards aren’t so good, but you still have to play the best that you can. Sometimes you can still win even if you were dealt a bad hand of cards.

In our life we were all dealt a hand of cards. Some of us have really good cards, and some of us have cards that are not so good. You might look at my cards and think that they are a piece of cake, and I may look at yours and think that they are easy, but that really doesn’t matter. We just have to play the cards that were given to us.

It’s easy for us to be thankful for the good cards that we have, but often times we aren’t thankful for the bad ones. God wants us to play both the good and bad as best as we can and be thankful and glorify him and praise him regardless of what we were dealt.

In my life I was dealt a set of cards, some are good and some are bad. (Set down some of the cards one-by-one while you say some good things and bad things that have happened in your life.) Some of these things are good and some are bad, but these are the cards that I was dealt. My job is to use them and play them the best way that I possibly can.

Many people just want to complain about their cards. Instead let’s be thankful for them and use them for the glory of God!

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Always Complaining

Joke about Complaining

There was a lady that was habitual grumbler and was constantly complaining about everything. One day her preacher thought he had discovered something that she could be happy about, because her farm crop was the best one for miles around. When he met her, he said with a big smile,”You must be very happy! Everyone is saying how healthy your potatoes look this year!”

She replied grimly, “True they’re pretty good, but what am I going to do when I need some bad ones to feed the pigs?”

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Thankful for Trash

Thankful for Trash object lesson

Key Verse

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Additional Verses

Ephesians 5:20; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 3:17

Materials Needed

  • Bag of garbage

Object Lesson

What things are you thankful for? (Allow for a few responses.) Many of us are thankful for the same kinds of things: home, transportation, job, school, family, friends, church, and the list goes on.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 it tells us to give thanks in EVERYTHING! Not just the good things! A home is good, right? Food is good! Families are good. But this verse tells us to give thanks in everything! Does that mean we can be thankful for things that aren’t so good?

(Take out the bag of garbage and show everyone.)

Are you thankful for trash? This is pretty gross and disgusting isn’t it? How in the world can you be thankful for trash? Well, I am thankful for trash because this shows that I had enough to eat and the things that I need in my life. If I didn’t have anything then I wouldn’t have trash either.

But there are some people in this world that are even more thankful for trash than I am. Did you know that in many countries, like Ethiopia, people’s lives depend on the trash! They will sort through the fresh trash and get plastic bags to recycle for money. They will also find used clothing, shoes and sometimes even food. If it wasn’t for the trash those people wouldn’t be able to survive!

Now, I believe that we should help people who have great needs like that, but I also think that hearing their story can help us to be even more thankful to God for the things that we have. It helps us to not take for granted the food and clothing that we have and use everyday.

Let us always remember to be thankful, not just for the good things, but also for the bad things! Let us also remember to be willing to help those people who are in need and have much less than we do.

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Horn of Plenty

Horn of Plenty

Key Verse

Philippians 4:19

Additional Verses

Psalm 36:8; Matthew 10:29-31; Psalm 37:25

Materials Needed

  • Cornucopia
  • Fruits and vegetables to fill up the cornucopia

Object Lesson

Often at Thanksgiving people will decorate their homes with a cornucopia. They will fill it with fruits and vegetables and call it a Horn of Plenty. This cornucopia is a symbol of having more than enough food to provide for your family, and that is one of the things that we are very thankful to God for.

In Philippians 4:19 the Bible says that God will provide all that we need according to His riches. It is like God has a giant cornucopia with everything that we could ever need. He provides for us from His own riches. Sometimes we can try to take credit for the things that we have. We think that because we work hard and make money to buy things that we have provided for ourselves. In reality God is the one that provides for us. If we have a job or get an allowance it is only because God has provided for us and has given us health and the opportunity to work.

It is important to be thankful for the things that God has provided for us. We should realize that He is the one that provides for us and takes care of us. Even if your parents take care of you, it is the Lord that gives them the ability to do it.

During Thanksgiving let us be grateful to God for the great things that He has done for us!

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Ten Lepers

ten lepers

Key Verse

Luke 17:11-19

Additional Verses

1 Thessalonians 5:18; Psalm 136:1; James 1:17

Materials Needed

  • Gauze or elastic bandage

Preparation

Wrap your arm up with the gauze or bandage.

Object Lesson

(Show your arm all wrapped up.)

Leprosy was a very bad skin disease that many people had long ago in the Bible times. It was very contagious so when someone had leprosy they would send them away from the town so that no one else would get infected. Whenever someone would walk by the lepers would yell “unclean” so that everyone knew that they should stay far away.

This was a very lonely life for the lepers because they had to leave their friends and families behind and life in the wilderness. Often the lepers would make friends with each other and start to live together, but they always wanted to go back home.

One day there were ten lepers who were wandering around and saw that Jesus as He was walking towards Jerusalem. They began to shout out to Jesus saying, “Jesus have mercy on us!”

When Jesus saw them he felt bad for them. They had bandages all over their body like this one that is on my arm. Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the high priests. Back in those days the priests would be the people who would decide if the person was healthy enough to be allowed to live in the village or not.

The ten men began to walk to the village to go and see the priest and as they walked back they realized that they were feeling better. (Unwrap your arm as you say the next part.) They unwrapped their bandages and realized that they had been healed! They were all so excited because they knew that meant they could go back home to their families and loved ones. They all began to run with excitement!

However, one of the men stopped running and he turned around and ran back to see Jesus. When he saw Jesus he fell down at His feet and he thanked Him. He was so grateful that Jesus had healed him. Jesus was happy that the man returned to thank Him, but He also wondered where the other men were, and why they didn’t return to say “thanks” as well.

How do you think that made Jesus feel when those nine people who He healed didn’t even bother to come back to say “thank you?” I would be pretty disappointed if I was Jesus. Do you thank Jesus for the things that He does in your life? Are you like that one that came back with a heart of gratitude or are you like the nine that were ungrateful?

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Magnetic Thankfulness

Magnetic Thankfulness

Key Verse

Ephesians 5:20

Additional Verses

1 Thessalonians 5:18; 1 Chronicles 16:34; Psalm 107:1; Philippians 4:6; 2 Corinthians 2:14; Psalm 103:2

Materials Needed

  • Magnet
  • Several pieces of metal. Nails, screws, paperclips, etc.

Object Lesson

Have you ever given someone a gift before? How would it make you feel if they took your gift and didn’t thank you for it? Or if they just took it and threw it in the garbage? That wouldn’t make you feel very good would it? Would you ever want to get them a gift again? Probably not!

If that person was very thankful to you how would that make you feel? Probably a lot better. In fact, you would probably want to bless them even more because they were so thankful to you.

God blesses us in so many ways, but so often we just ignore his blessings. We don’t say “thank you.” We don’t express gratitude. We just go on and totally take it for granted.

Do you think that attracts God’s blessings? No!

(Show the magnet and spread out the objects.)

When we are grateful to God for the great things He has done for us it is like being a magnet for God’s blessing. (Wave the magnet over the objects and let the magnet pick the things up.)

When we tell God how thankful we are He will continue to bless us even more. W should have a heart of thankfulness like it says in Ephesians 5:20 and we show thanks to God continually. When we have this magnetic thankfulness God will pour His blessings on us even more because He loves it when we are grateful for the things He has done.

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5 Kernels of Corn Thanksgiving

five kernels of corn

Key Verse

Ephesians 5:20

Additional Verses

Psalm 107:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Philippians 4:16; Psalm 107:1; Psalm 100:1-5

Materials Needed

  • Candy Corn (or real corn if you prefer)
  • Small plastic bags (optional)

Preparation

Fill bags with 5 pieces of candy corn so you can pass them out to everyone.

Object Lesson

(Show everyone the 5 kernels of corn.)

In the winter of the 1620s the Pilgrims came to New England on the Mayflower. They did not have very much food at all that winter and many days they were only allowed to eat 5 kernels of corn. Do you think that is enough food? No! But they were still thankful to God for allowing them to be in a new country. They continued to trust in God no one of them died that winter!

The following year they raised crops and livestock and when harvest time came they had more than enough food. God had truly blessed them. To show how thankful they were they had a celebration. At the beginning of the meal they all had five kernels of corn on their plate to remind them of when that was all that they had to eat.

Each person would give 5 things that they were thankful for, one for each kernel of corn.

What are you thankful for? (Give opportunity for people to respond with some of the things that they are thankful for.) Are you thankful for your home? Maybe you are grateful for the food and drink that you have to eat and drink? We can be thankful for our friends and family. How about being thankful for your church? Most importantly we should be thankful for Jesus and the sacrifice that He made for us!

This Thanksgiving maybe you could do that also? You can put 5 pieces of corn on each plate and have each person in your family list 5 things that they are thankful for. God has been so good to us and have blessed us in so many ways. We should give thanks to him for the great things He has done!

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